The Packers sign Northwestern running back Tyrell Sutton
The Green Bay Packers addressed their biggest needs during this weekend's NFL Draft. General manager Ted Thompson said he did not waver from his normal strategy of taking the best players available.
But he didn't ignore the team's needs, either.
Thompson said he was happy with his current core of players, and the draftees will be strong additions.
The Packers clearly went for bulk, passing up speedy receiver Michael Crabtree to get the beefy nose tackle B.J. Raji from Boston College in the first round.
That theme continued Sunday, when the Packers took 315-pound offensive lineman T.J. Lang from Eastern Michigan in Round Four, 304-pound offensive tackle Jamon Meredith of South Carolina in the fifth round, and 249-pound fullback Quinn Johnson of LSU in Round Five.
Coach Mike McCarthy said strong interior players are hard to find, and they're tough to pass up, especially with physical opponents like Chicago and Minnesota in the NFC North.
The Packers also drafted players to fit their new 3-4 defense, trading up to get USC outside linebacker Clay Matthews in the first round and taking outside linebacker Brad Jones of Colorado in Round Seven.
The Packers made only eight selections, the fewest in Ted Thompson's five years in Green Bay.
The others were defensive end Jarius Wynn of Georgia in the fifth round, and corner Brandon Underwood of Cincinnati in the sixth.
The Packers agreed to sign at least four free agents after the draft ended Sunday.
They beat out four other teams to get Northwestern running back Tyrell Sutton, with a three-year contract that reportedly includes a modest signing bonus.
Agents said the Packers also agreed to deal with receivers Jamarko Simmons of Western Michigan and Kole Heckendorf of North Dakota State, and tight end Carson Butler of Michigan.
Media reports said the Packers will also try out defensive end Rhyan Anderson of Brookfield, who played his college ball at Miami and New Mexico State, and Cedarburg center Scott Witte, who played at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.